Tag Archives: Leadership

Free Speech

Free speech does not give you ‘rights’ to terrorize people (children, girls, women, immigrants, people who look different then you etc.).

Free speech does not give you ‘rights’ to commit murder.

We need to reel in this thinking that our ‘rights’ include using anger, hatred, and abuse to take away the personhood, safety, and even lives of others. If white supremacists are so enamored by their white skin that they want to flaunt it and show it off, go ahead! Show off your beautiful skin. Talk about how much you love your skin.

If a person thinks their religion is the best religion, then by all means love your religion! Go to your group and sing your songs and read your books and celebrate how great your god is – and how great you think you are because your god is the best god because of you and that you worship him.

But that doesn’t give you the ‘right’ to harass people who’s skin is a different color then your own, or who choose to celebrate their religion in a different way.

That doesn’t give you the ‘right’ to terrorize girls.

That doesn’t give you the ‘right’ to intimidate, terrorize, or seize other people’s bodies, minds, or physical lives.

Free speech comes with responsibilities to honor others, not just ourselves. And when the idea of honoring ourself involves causing harm to another, then that is no longer honor, that is a crime.

Barb Hughes

Respecting Workers Means Better Business

This article from the Portland Business Journal says the greatest number of undocumented workers are employed in leisure and hospitality, followed by the construction sector and professional/business services, but the biggest hit on the overall economy by deporting undocumented workers would be in manufacturing.

The article states, “How could these sectors move forward following mass deportations? It’s difficult to say, but employers may be left in the lurch as native-born American workers increasingly turn away from low-skill, labor-intensive jobs.” A farm industry study released in 2013 indicated American workers were not compelled to take up farm labor positions even during high unemployment.

Let’s break that down.

Most farms are not inside a big city, where most workers reside. So if a farm wants to hire workers, they need to hire local, or provide enough money for workers to move to the area and pay for housing and relocation costs.

Labeling farm, manufacturing, and hospitality work ‘low skill’ by pundits shows disrespect for the work. For example farm work needs to be taught and learned, just like any other job. Cherries need to be picked with the stem intact because they stay fresher longer thus can be sold for more money. There are techniques how to effectively and efficiently pick fruit – it is a skill. So job training of workers is important. When is the last time you saw a class on how to pick fruit? How about the physics and science safety of ladder placement?

“Americans turn away from labor-intensive jobs” is also a half-truth. Some people LIKE the idea of getting paid to work out. Some people LIKE to work outside and not be trapped in a stuffy office. But they haven’t been given the opportunity to learn, and have been told that this type of work is beneath them. (So – eating good food, being outside in the fresh air, and being paid to exercise is beneath you?  Some people would LOVE to do those things and get paid!)

Americans have also been led to believe that physical labor, farm labor, manufacturing, and hospitality labor is paid at a starvation wage. Business and industry can change this image by advertising and paying living wages, as well as providing benefits, training and/or mentoring to make these jobs attractive to quality workers of all ages.

So how do you get Americans to apply for jobs in agriculture, construction, hospitality, professional, business, and manufacturing?

  1. Respect the job
  2. Provide training
  3. Pay a living wage (where the worker can afford a home, food, transportation, etc.).
  4. Offer to relocate city workers if your job site is out in the middle of nowhere.

Business: you can’t get something for nothing. Pay your employees a living wage and respect them and the job they were hired to do.

Educators: we need food and plumbers, as well as teachers and doctors. Encourage kids to explore.

Everyone: don’t talk down a job and treat workers badly… and then expect people to seek out that job.

And finally, ponder this:  What does it say about all of us when we label certain necessary jobs only fit for “undocumented” workers? Why do we disrespect these necessary jobs AND the people who do them gratefully and well?  How can we take responsibility and provide leadership?

By Barb Hughes

Bank helps customers find jobs and love

A bank has found a unique way to help their customers create more wealth financially and socially, thus creating more money for customers to invest in houses, finance new business, and more.  An ingenious ‘love story’ idea mix where both business and customer are enriched.

Lender retains customers by finding them jobs and life partners

“Updating my resume. Plz kill me.”

“I’ve been playing with my Jobs Dating App idea. Here’s a conversation I had a few days ago on facebook when a friend mentioned they are begrudgingly looking for a new job.  I changed the names (other than my own) to protect privacy, and did light editing for clarification :

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Carl:  Updating my resume. Plz kill me.

Lynn: I did update mine recently and it suuuuuucked

Carl: Few things make me feel like more of a loser / impostor / slacker / etc.

Jeanie: I feel your pain. Doing that myself. Oh, and the job search itself. If I get so bored just reading a job description, how can I possibly imagine actually working there! Egads.

Carl: Right? Or finding the perfect job that you know you’ll love but realizing you’re not qualified. 

Jeanie: Right? Because somehow when it’s time to hire, all of a sudden HR and hiring managers seems to think that if you haven’t done that exact thing already, you can’t possibly be acceptable. You know, because once we start looking for a job, it’s impossible for us to ever learn a new thing ever again.

Carl: EXACTLY

Jeanie: I once got a rejection letter to my resume submission that actually said, “…you’re not a perfect fit.” Perfect. Who the hell would ever be a PERFECT fit? Except for the person who previously had the job but even that person would not be PERFECT because if they were, they’d still be in the job. Ugh.

Carl: No such thing as perfect. Sorry you’re job hunting, too.

Barb Hughes: I want to be on a team to design a job dating app. Where you fill out all the things you think are FUN, and then the algorithms find jobs that have similar things to what you like. It would make job-hunting entertaining, and bring up all kinds of new jobs that we’d never have thought to apply for. It would also be a great game for grade school, middle, and high school kids to get an idea of what current jobs out there they would actually be compatible for, so they can take classes that feed that interest…I mean they’ve already listed things they like to do (or want to try doing) so what better way to choose a career path?

Jeanie: Great idea! Except that I don’t think there’s a big market for someone who excels at reading books, binge watching Madame Secretary, snorkeling and frosting cupcakes. 😉

Barb Hughes:  Jeanie HA! That would be where the questions would be broken down and crafted in such a way that they would apply to job interests. For example, binge watching could be a transferable skill of “able to sit for long periods of time staring at a screen totally focused on watching something I find interesting.” Other questions would ferret out what those interests are.

Carl: ^^^Going through surveillance footage like those poor guys on legal dramas. 🙂

Barb Hughes: Frosting Cupcakes might be listed under several categories (depending on which actually brings you joy) such as ‘creating masterpieces with food, clay, or art’ or ‘repetitive hand motions that create a product such as knitting, frosting cupcakes, or painting’.

Barb Hughes: And then if a business has similar activities, such as assembling widgets,  bread making, painting clay figurines, etc. you might be paired up with possible jobs in anything from manufacturing to pharmacy work to watch repair. See how much fun this would be? Jobs you never would have thought of would be offered as possibilities of transferable skills to the things you ACTUALLY enjoy doing.

Barb Hughes: Carl, concerning surveillance footage – my daughter has a friend who would get in trouble as a kid for sneaking around listening in on people…and now he works as head security at a department store and gets to watch people on security cameras and then confront them. He loves his job.

Carl: I’ve made peace with the reality that not all jobs must be work one loves. That whole “do what you love and the money will follow” is nonsense. Someone has to do unpleasant jobs and that’s okay.

Jeanie: Carl I actually agree. I’m totally fine working at a job I’m not “passionate” about, as long as it’s fairly decent and the pay is sufficient. There was this great article I came across a few years ago about how the idea of “following your passion” is overrated. I’ll see if I can find it–you may like it.

Jeanie: I think that whole passion following thing has created a lot of disappointed young people. But maybe Barb can crack the code…

Barb Hughes: I would also like to add in – for the business offering the job – for them to fill out what benefits they offer. Free clothes (radio stations have lots of promotional t-shirts and stuff that they give to staff -radio outfitted me for awhile there; and  I’ve heard people at Nordstrom et all have nice employee discounts on clothes). Free Food (when I worked at a restaurant you could have one free meal each shift you worked; at New Seasons Market they offer employees 20% off everything in the store AND they give you free food through the blue slip program). Businesses would also fill out what kinds of health care they offered, if they give out free bus passes/pay for a car or your gas money etc. So not only would the prospective employee fill out the game to match, but the employer would fill out what that actual job does and what perks the company offers, so you get a *real* match. I’d also like google maps included in the game so you can see which jobs are closest to you via walk/bike/public transportation/driving/work from home so you can choose a short commute if you want (saving the city in gridlock and pollution).  I’ve been working on gamified questions, but of course this would take a lot more input and  research as well (which I enjoy doing).

Jeanie:  Barb these are all great ideas! Maybe you should develop the app!

Barb Hughes: Jeanie I’m looking into how to do that!

Barb Hughes:  I think gamifying it in a way that hasn’t been done before would at least give options we don’t currently have. I mean, it seems like all jobs ask for is what degree/how much college you have, and if you’ve done *that* particular job before. And  how many jobs are not even around anymore (book binder? radio disc jockey? all the things people over 40 went to college for?) It really doesn’t make sense to NOT have companies look for transferable skills, and what actions/opportunities brings an employee individual joy…and then for those same companies to offer to pay for any upgraded training an employee might need. Not only are there community colleges and tech/trade schools available for company paid training, there are also tons of free online classes, as well as free classes through public libraries, so an employer may not even have to PAY to train the employee…just give them a website and paid time to learn. And since the employee has already listed their interests, they will be thrilled that you are investing in them so they can invest in the company.

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I’m interested in being on a team to develop this web app.  Please contact me at urbanfarmer pdx1 (at)  yahoo . com  and include what organization, skill, or financial backing you would contribute to make this job dating web app a reality.

By Barb Hughes

Job Matching Of The Future

People are scared because the future is unknown and moving so quickly.   They feel economically left behind. We could start to turn this paradigm on it’s head and take out the fear, take out the us/them thinking, by applying the following ideas and principles.

  1. We need an easier way for people to find living wage jobs.  I propose apps/websites/videos that gamify matching people’s skills and loves with today’s jobs, found in one easy to use place.  A combination of aptitude tests like Strong Interest Inventory, online games to find your emotional likes (similar to facebook games), and list any degrees, certifications, and skills you might have (including how many pounds you can lift, if you like to drive a vehicle, etc.)  These games need to be accessible online, searchable, and shareable on social media so they are easy to use.
  2. The ruling class needs a new game, too, because “who can make the most money and have the most toys” is old, stale and boring. Gamify the 1% and ruling class to see who’s employees/businesses/towns/states can create the best new ways to provide and process clean water, whole fresh food techniques, ways to improve health, etc. – and then implement those ideas through living wage jobs found on easily accessible apps/games that can be found on websites/facebook pages so people in all areas of the US can find out about them (see #1).
  3. B Corps are a new way to do business, with a people/profit/planet focus, thus creating a cradle to cradle loop which is more fun, cost effective, and a better (and cheaper) use of resources for business.
  4. And we need new training/education – sponsored by the industry/new industries, ruling class, and 1%ers themselves, as well as government and possibly other creative inputs – to give people hands-on training in the new job skills needed. Putting people to work in living wage jobs by matching their interests, skills, ability, and vision, will unite us socially by allowing us all the dignity of feeling a productive member of society and making life better for ourselves, our families, our communities…plus we’ll be creating goods and services right here in America that we can use ourselves and export for profit. We’ll all be part of a team again – with the ruling class actually leading the way to sustainability and honor, by simplifying and gamifying the process of creating new industries, jobs, and opportunities for all, no matter where you live or what your current skill set.

Let’s replace fear with practical fun and hard work.   I’d like to be on a working team to bring America together using simple, practical solutions to equip all Americans – city/country, colored/white, male/female, ruling class/working class, etc. – with successful tools/skills.  I have some templates to help get this started.  Contact me if interested.

Barb Hughes, Better Ideas Now blog founder

Telsa Unveils Solar Roof Shingles

Tesla is coming out with a solar roof that is compatible with their updated battery that can then charge their car. The cost of the roof is supposedly comparable to the cost of a roof plus your current electricity bill. Telsa has recently purchased Solar City as it’s distribution channel.  I look forward to see how this technology unfolds.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-31/no-one-saw-tesla-s-solar-roof-coming

Tiny Banks – A return to traditional banking (Plus, how to start your own bank!)

Tired of the hassles of big banks? Dave Fishwick brought banking back to its roots:  local banks for local people, by the community for the community.

If you’re interested in making a positive difference in your community, Dave Fishwick shows you how to open your own bank: